6 Week Challenge

Top 8 Fitness Mistakes Preventing You from Burning Fat and Getting Toned

Not getting results when you’re doing everything you can is the most frustrating thing in the world. I would know! Before I became a national level figure competitor, I struggled for years to get results. I would work out every day for long hours and restrict my diet.

My biggest frustration was that even though I exercised daily, I didn’t even look like it!

Well, guess what? Getting results isn’t just about working out more and eating less. I learned that the hard way. And chances are, you’re making the same exact mistakes.

Here are the 8 most common fitness mistakes I see every day, and the one solution that will fix them all!

1. Eating Too Little

Hungry woman

One of the biggest misconceptions about weight loss and fitness among women is that in order to lose more weight, you have to eat a lot less food. But, when you’re working out and trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is restrict yourself to anything less than 1200 calories per day.

When you exercise on a highly restricted diet the first place your body goes for energy isn’t fat, it’s muscle. That’s because muscle is considered “metabolically expensive“: it takes a lot of calories to build and maintain muscle. So when your body doesn’t have enough calories, its first response is to get rid of the most expensive tissue.

By restricting your diet too far, you stop burning fat and you start losing muscle. This in turn lowers your metabolism and leads to a more flabby, less toned physique.

2. Eating Too Much

Under-eating is a mistake that a lot of women make without realizing it, but the opposite is just as damaging. Eating too much might seem obvious, but sometimes you don’t even notice you’re doing it.

A Cornell University study found that most people wouldn’t even realize if they ate an extra 300 calories a day. Lab director Brian Wansink said in his best-selling book Mindless Eating that people underestimate caloric intake by 20%… and those who are overweight tend to underestimate caloric intake by 30-40%.

The issue here is that if you build lean muscle without shedding the excess padding (which you won’t if you’re eating too much), you’ll end up looking bulky and fluffy even when there’s rock hard, toned muscle underneath.

One silent calorie-goal killer to look out for is BLTs, or bites, licks, and tastes. You might think that you’re sticking to your plan perfectly, but if you’re licking peanut butter off your knife, nibbling on dinner as you cook, and sneaking a few chocolate chips from the pantry every day, you’re adding hundreds of extra calories to your diet.

This really adds up in the long run, which could be the reason why you’re not seeing any results.

3. Not Enough Protein

Steak and Salad

To get the toned look you want, you need to do two things: burn fat and build lean muscle. Building muscle will give you the fit, shapely look of a fitness model. And by burning fat you’ll stay slim and lean.

In order to do this you need to do resistance or weight training, and supply your body with the building blocks it needs in order to build and repair muscle. That means fueling your body with protein. If you’re not eating about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, you’re not getting enough protein.

Eating a high protein diet also helps you feel fuller longer. This hunger control will help you reach your calorie goals without feeling hungry.

4. Too Much Cardio

Skinny-fat is a term that you might have heard before to describe women that are skinny but lack lean muscle and tone. One cause for this is an irrational fear of lifting heavy weights, and a belief that cardio is the holy grail of fitness.

Busting out long hours on the treadmill might leave you a sweaty mess, but it won’t get you any closer to your goal of achieving a lean, toned body. If you want to get toned, you have to build muscle; which will never happen if you only do cardio because you’re not providing your muscles with the resistance they need to grow.

Instead, challenge yourself with weightlifting and resistance training. These types of exercises will help you build lean, toned muscle.

5. Too Much Exercise

Of course, another mistake you could be making is exercising too much altogether. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and exercise is no exception. If you’re exercising too much or too often then your body isn’t going to have a chance to recover properly.

When you exercise you’re not actually building muscle, you’re only breaking it down. It’s during recovery that you build more lean muscle. When your body repairs your muscle it doesn’t just restore it. Your body builds more lean muscle, making you even stronger than before!

That’s why proper recovery is so essential. Without recovery you’re not going to see any results. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get an effective workout. In fact, it can take as little as 20 minutes to get an extremely effective workout! The key is staying consistent.

6. Not Drinking Enough Water

woman drinking water

One important fitness habit that gets skipped over a lot is drinking enough water. You probably know you’re not drinking enough water, but how much of a difference does it really make? A huge one! Symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output

If you’re feeling physically weak or sick, your workout is going to be completely ineffective. That’s assuming you make it to the gym at all. Nothing kills your motivation faster than feeling like crap.

On top of poor training sessions, not drinking enough water forces your body to hold on to excess water, which isn’t healthy. That excess water causes bloating and makes it difficult to flush toxins out of your body.

7. Not Recording Your Progress

Not tracking your progress and results might not seem like a pivotal mistake in your fitness journey, but in fact, it’s key for your success. It’s simple. All you need to do is:

  • Weigh yourself
  • Take measurements
  • Snap some progress pics

Hopping on the scale and taking a couple of gym selfies is the simplest way to record your progress. Numbers and pictures tell stories. In this case they tell you what changes are going on in your body.

Are you losing weight? Are you losing inches? Can you see a difference in your body? Recording your progress will help you answer all of these questions.

If some of the answers are “no” and you’re clearly not making any progress, then it’s time to change tactics. But chances are your body is changing and progressing in ways you haven’t noticed. It’s hard to see the changes that you’ve made over time if you don’t have a benchmark to compare yourself to. Without being able to see those results, you’ll most likely give up and never realize how close you were to reaching your goals.

8. Going Solo

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It doesn’t matter who you are: having a support team is essential when you’re trying to reach your goals. When I prep for a figure competition, I have coaches, family members, friends, and of course IdealFit, to back me up! My coaches help me fine tune my nutrition, workouts, and performance and my family, friends, and co-workers cheer me on the entire way.

Having a support group is important for you to reach your goals, and see more results. You can get motivated, encourage others, ask your questions, and be held accountable. One study even found that people who exercised as part of a team worked out 200% longer than those who worked out alone.

Being part of a supportive team environment can help you stay on track to achieve a fit, toned body no matter what obstacles you might face!

The Solution!

Chances are you’ve made a few (or all!) of these mistakes. Unfortunately, making any one of these mistakes can stop your progress in its tracks.

That’s why I’ve created this 6 Week Fit Body Challenge. It’s the ULTIMATE fat burning, lean muscle building fitness and nutrition program, and now includes some great FREE IdealLean products, along with free U.S. shipping.

With my 6 Week Fit Body Challenge you’ll never make these 8 mistakes again because…

  • You’ll know exactly what you need to eat in order to get results (Forget eating too much or even eating too little).
  • I tell you how and when to add more protein to your diet.
  • I walk you through every exercise (just the right amount of cardio).
  • Rest days are pre-planned to maximize effectiveness.
  • You’ll know exactly how much water to drink.
  • Weekly check-ins will remind you to record your measurements.
  • You get exclusive access to the 6 Week Fit Body Challenge private community where you can interact with me, as well as other experts and fellow challengers!

Join Trainer Lindsey’s 6 Week Fit Body Challenge today and get the results you’ve always dreamed of!

Start Your Own 6 Week Fit Body Challenge


Lindsey Mathews

Lindsey Mathews

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Lindsey Mathews is the Head Trainer and Nutritionist at IdealFit. She is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, C-ISSN certified sports nutritionist, Pn. 1 certified nutrition coach, and a nationally qualified NPC bikini competitor. Before joining IdealFit, she ran the largest boot camp program in Utah County.

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